Paris: is always a good idea!!
We’ll always have PARIS.
Enough and more has been written about this mecca for the traveler, the seeker of the arts, the student of fashion, the apprentice of gastronomy, the connoisseur of the written word and much, much more that this unique conurbation stands for. Also known as the city of light, both for its leading role during the religious Age of Enlightenment and more literally, because it is the first European city to adopt gas street lighting, Paris is situated on both the banks of the river Seine and located in the north of France, it is in the center of the Île-de-France, or the region parisienne. It is named after its 3rd century BC founders of the Celtic origins, the Parisii, a sub tribe of the Celtic Senones, and retains the nearly two-century-old administrative boundaries.
What to see
Paris is also one of the most visited cities in the world. It is home to some of the most iconic and well-known monuments and buildings in the world. This city is an architectural wonder in itself, without even taking into account the pieces of architecture that litter the city around every corner. The Eiffel tower, which looks like steel and lace entwined, the 12th century Notre Dame cathedral with its imposing gargoyles peering down at your from moving heights, the Sainte-Chapelle from the 13th century, the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur on the hill of Montmartre. Also of significant interest are the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, The Grand Mosque of Paris, the Arc de Triomphe, the Paris opera house, the Romanesque church of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the Gothic Basilica of Saint-Denis, the Baroque churches of Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, neoclassical church of La Madeleine, Les Invalides, which houses Napoleon’s tomb and many more.
Home of the artists and their art
Paris is also home to the most visited art museum in the world, the Louvre, which is along the historical axis of the Axe Historique of Paris, through the Tuileries Garden, the Luxor Column in the place de la concorde, as well as the Musée d’Orsay, noted for its collection of French impressionist art, and the Musée National d’Art Moderne, a museum of modern and contemporary art.
French food and wine, some of the best in the world
But Paris is so much more than the historical monuments and architecture. It is about the culture, food and people of the city that make it what it is. Dinner along the Seine is one of the most exciting experiences to be had in the world. Find a little bistro that serves exciting pairings of cheese and wine, like the Verjus Wine Bar near the Palais Royal or just buy a crepe Nutella from the nearest vendor and just walk along the historical river, enjoying the Parisian river breeze as boats and ferries pass you by. Splurge a little and enter a fine dining restaurant at Loiseau Rive Droite, recently renamed from Tante Louise. This restaurant, founded in 1929 has the old world art-deco charm, and even the signage and menus, and is right next to Madeline and chic luxury shops like Cartier and Hermes. Eating at this restaurant will make you feel like a grown up, the kind of grown up that slows down and goes out for an exquisite meal every once in a while. Brasserie Lola opened their second vegan restaurant in the Etienne Marcel/Montorgueil neighborhood. Drink at Wine by One, a great place to try over a hundred types of French wines at the Rue des Capucines. Paris is a great city to brunch on Sunday. Brunch places about, serving the best brunch fare there is. Most of them a stone’s throw from the canals of the River Seine, they offer magnificent views and make Sundays unbelievable again.
The city of lights twinkles in the night. The night is a great time to discover Paris passages or even areas that are less known, such as Belleville or trek to the 18th arrondissement, and spend some time wandering around the ‘bad’ neighborhood of La Goutte D’or, where you will find some of the best roasts and the coffee shop Café Lomi, right across from the most artistic graffiti wall that hides an old factory. Or just carry a picnic basket to the Tuileries and watch the Tour Eiffel come alive at 10 pm with twinkling lights dancing up and down the metal lace and hear the collective gasp that emanates from the mere human populace in front of this majestic spectacle.
One of the most beautiful flower shops is hidden on Rue Saint Denis, and they are called L’Histoired’une Fleur at number 152. Fresh flowers, and great if you are near the 2nd arrondissement or Etienne Marcel. Hotel Mathis has a splendid bar for cocktails on the Champs Elysees if you want something swank and are willing to splurge a little. If you have access to a kitchen at your friend’s house, at L’Épicerie des Environs, you’ll find local produce and a version of nearly everything to make a delicious dinner. Fruits and vegetables, rice from Camargue, pickles from Burgundy, fruity sorbet from Essonne. Rue Cremieux has that colorful street that every Parisian photographer loves to photograph, and hopefully, you will wander there too. Out of the ancient and proper 17th arrondissement at Place du Docteur Felix Lobligeois comes a new wind and it smells of young, fresh coffee. Dose, dealer de café is an urban, cool coffee shop, cut from simple, clean pine and laid with beautiful blue tiles.
Kid friendly city
Paris is also a very child friendly city and there is much to do, which supersedes just going to Disneyland. Ride the Line1 of the metro, wait on the far right of the platform and get a front row seat on the driverless metro car. Pick up a metro map and help your kids discover the route. If you wish to be above the ground, ride the bus. Take a River Seine tour on a boat, which leave typically every hour or so. Go to a park, which are literally all over the city, and let your child run into other kids who are there. The playground at Jardinde’Luxembourg is one of the best. Luxembourg and Tuileries also have sailboats for the ponds. Trampolines at Tuileries and air sculptures will keep your child entertained.